Starting a new job is never easy, but starting it at the beginning of a global pandemic is even more challenging.

Robbie Kenny, 21, began working for the Carlisle branch of Wigton-based Chrysalis in March, 2020, supporting adults with learning disabilities — right as the world as we knew it was changing.

More than 12 months have passed, but his passion and enthusiasm for the work he does have not diminished.

He said: “If I talk to people about my job, I always talk to them about the successes. I always talk about getting a smile off the people we support, or when someone can say your name or will give you a high five.

“It’s something that people who don’t work in the job would see as something little, but we see it as something big.”

Robbie is new to support work, he had previously studied for an NVQ 2 and NVQ 3 in hairdressing at college before going to work for Chrysalis.

“I decided to become a support worker because I have a brother that actually attends Chrysalis as well, so I’ve always had an interest in it anyway,” he said.

“I would have gone into support work straight from school, but I wanted to mature a little bit. I just felt it was the right time to make that jump.”

Chrysalis has been providing support to adults with learning disabilities in Cumbria for 30 years. Their aim is to enrich the lives of the people who receive support in a friendly and supportive environment.

Whatever staff members are doing to support people, they have a guarantee that they are making a positive difference.

“It is one of those jobs where no two days are ever the same,” Robbie said.

“One day you could be making a pizza with someone and the next day you’re at the top of Caldbeck trying to fly a kite. It is actually quite fun.”

Robbie enjoys building relationships with the people that are supported, he said: “It has its difficulties, but it’s so rewarding as well.”

Claire Doherty, chief officer at Chrysalis, said: “Robbie is a real asset to the organisation — his enthusiasm and passion for people shines through.

“We are currently recruiting and as you can see from Robbie’s story, previous experience is not essential but with the right approach and attitude we are keen to hear from you.”

Claire added: “Chrysalis is a really vibrant place to work with wide ranging opportunities supporting people with everyday life, from community activities to 24hr supported living."

Chrysalis is currently seeking community activity support workers, a community activity team leader, independent living support workers, and relief support workers.

It also offers opportunities for people who are looking to volunteer who have their own interests and hobbies that could enhance our opportunities for people.

If you want to reach your potential whilst helping others reach theirs, get in touch with Chrysalis by calling 016973 44751.